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tv   Bloomberg Business Week  Bloomberg  April 7, 2019 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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♪ carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i am carol massar. jason: and i am jason kelly. joining you from bloomberg's headquarters in new york. carol: in this week's program, why economists have had a hard time forecasting recessions. it is not easy. jason: it is not. and japan schools the world on how it a wealthy nation can maintain its superpower status. carol: and the cover story, the greatest delivery empire on earth. jason: we are talking about a company in china. meituan, a chinese company that has made it cheaper to order in
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than to go out and has reshaped life in china cities. carol: we talked to editor jeff muskus about the story. jeff: the 40-year-old founder of meituan started trying to build social networks in china for, you know, friend star, a facebook like. something that looked an awful lot like twitter with a can -- a handful of cofounders. after blowing through the early stakes for friends and family and then suffering crackdowns from the chinese government, they tried to do something a little less controversial. he spent heavily thanks to early investment by alibaba's founder jack ma to sort of take the lead in what was known for some time as the 100 groupon war in china. carol: he starts his company,
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get the investment from jack ma, and that he starts putting up some of his businesses or where he wants to do business extensions. and that costs more money, and that is when alibaba says we are not interested in doing another round. jeff: the terms alibaba set where at a certain point, where meitaun was the biggest-ish player in the field along with tencent was, look, we will give you more money to stretch out, but you have to agree to basically merge the app with alibaba. including a lot of customer data and all that good stuff. jason: this was coming at a point where the groupon model just was not going to be sustainable. they were essentially going to run into the same thing they had run into in previous startups, that it is just not going to grow. they really got into this delivery business, and that's when it really accelerates. jeff: yeah, meitaun alone now delivers some 20 million or so
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items, delivery orders a day through about 600,000 delivery agents across across about 3000 cities in china. carol: 20 million a day. jason: put that in context for us versus like a grubhub or something like that. jeff: grubhub, which is the biggest player in a comparable market in the u.s., really delivering about 500,000. jason: 500,000 versus 20 million. amazing. jeff: and their customer base is close to 40 million in the year. carol: that is staggering. so they decided not to roll into alibaba. so alibaba goes one way and meituan goes their own way. jeff: right, absorbing their rival with help and funding from tencent. after that alibaba said basically we will try to spend you into oblivion and buy the markets for ourselves. carol: these two are head-to-head competition, so there's a price war going on,
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which is wonderful for consumers, which goes back to what you said at the beginning, it is cheaper to get something delivered than actually go to the checkout counter and pay for it. jeff: absolutely. often to the order of 40% or 80% cheaper depending on what you want for dinner. jason: is that sustainable? are these guys going to drive themselves into oblivion by this price war? jeff: it is a real gamble. i mean, you know, alibaba has plenty of cash to burn, but it is also a company entering its third decade with public market investors to appease. so that is sort of -- that gamble here, he is betting alibaba has about another year they can do this and have the money to keep going for several years. carol: i find that anybody going up against alibaba has got to have a lot of nerve. [laughter] so tell us about this character. i think he has got a role model that is written about him in this story, and it's jeff bezos. jeff: as you guys kind of alluded, wang xing has really
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doubled down on the bezos reinvestment model, this idea that succeeding to some degree in a business means you have money to expand into an adjacent business. as they have gotten better at food delivery, took over china's movie ticket online market. basically created the market for movie tickets online and that sort of thing. jason: one thing i want to make sure people understand, because i did not comprehend it, is the market opportunity here because of chinese population. the u.s. has 10 cities with one million or more people, china has 156. carol: right, i know. jason: i stopped cold when i was reading that. can they get to a sizable chunk of this market? jeff: it seems reasonable to believe. yeah, that is the other real reason alibaba has to spend them into the ground here. depending on who you ask, a relatively conservative estimate is that this market will
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basically be about $800 billion a year by 2023. and a lot of that growth is going to come at the expense of conventional e-commerce businesses, like alibaba, especially like alibaba. carol: a lot of large numbers. it is interesting this company is not profitable, which is not surprising given the pricing wars, right? jeff: true. part of the problem is this billions of dollars war of subsidies, and part of it is as you say this bezos model of trying to jump into new, very expensive businesses. carol: whenever i read a story about this, i just think about what is going on in china and how much is being done on your phone. we do a lot of delivering, but only when you are in large cities. jason: i thought maybe you were talking about that side hustle i did not know about, delivering food. [laughter] carol: but it is just fascinating how much further ahead they are than like the united states.
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jeff: this has been a huge like leapfrog moment for people in the cities there. it is a huge problem for people in cities, and as you might imagine, is because of some relatively unique advantages, but also disadvantages. it is more appealing to order in all the time when the traffic is horrible right outside your door. jason: up next, one of india's best-known doctors, he is creating a model for ultra low-cost health care that can be applied everywhere. carol: why a breakthrough postpartum depression drugs still faces high hurdles. jason: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ carol: welcome back to
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"bloomberg businessweek." i am carol massar. jason: i am jason kelly. join carol and me for "bloomberg businessweek" everyday on the radio from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. wall street time. also catch up on our daily show by listening and subscribing to our podcast on itunes, soundcloud, and bloomberg.com.
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carol:carol: of course you can find us online at business week.com and our mobile app. jason: india is pursuing the most ambitious public health effort in history. prime minister narendra modi hopes to give basic coverage to 500 million of india's poorest. carol: an ambitious program, and to make all of this possible, the founder of the world's cheapest hospital chain will have to cut costs further and then keep on cutting. i talked to reporter ari altstedter. ari: dr. devi shetty is a pretty remarkable individual. he was of course born in india and trained as a cardiac surgeon in london, where he noticed that they could do a lot more heart surgeries in a day than anyone can do anywhere in india. so he decided, i will go back to india and see if i can at least replicate that. once he did that at a hospital in calcutta, he started pushing himself more. various cardiac departments he was hired all around india until he eventually came up with the idea of, what if we treat cardiac surgery like an assembly
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line? try to break it down into constituent tasks and then have only the most complicated tasks done by the most experienced and highly paid surgeon? everyone else, from junior surgeons to highly-trained nurses, can handle all of the less-complicated tasks. he found that once he did this, the cost of surgery went down a lot, so he found his hospital in bangalore and has been replicating this model over different specialties ever since to produce what we call in the story the cheapest hospital in the world. carol: i love this, and let me throw out some numbers for our viewers and listeners. the surgeries he does cost a lot less money dramatically. endoscopic, $1400. surgery for head and neck cancer start at $700. talk about a heart transplant, about $11,000. if you were doing that in the united states, we're talking $100,000 or more. right? it is a huge difference.
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ari: absolutely. i mean a heart transplant, full cost could be $1 million at a u.s. hospital when you take in everything. carol: and he makes a profit. again, you talk about the descaling or upscaling or task shifting. talk to us a little bit more about how this process works, give us an example. i am assuming you went to some of the hospitals. ari: right. i actually got to watch a few surgeries done in that hospital. basically, what they do is they break up the tasks into more and less complex. ensuring that the most complex task, you know, for instance, in a heart transplant, that might be moving the patient's heart out and taking -- putting the new one in -- that is only done by the person who can only do that. that is the most experienced senior surgeon. so that experienced senior surgeon comes in solely for that part of the operation. but every other part of the operation is done by other, less skilled, less expensive people.
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whether that be a junior surgeon -- i know one of the surgeries i went to see was dr. shetty's son, who was the junior surgeon. but it could also be just highly trained nurses who have a lot more training, a lot more experience than a usual nurse. so they can handle more complex tasks, but it still costs less than a surgeon. carol: what has been his mortality rates? ari: the numbers that have been released and looked at by the various academics that have come over to do case studies in india actually show that his mortality rates are at least the same, if not better, for select surgeries, than u.s. counterparts or international benchmarks. particularly in these surgeries that narayana health have developed a lot of proficiency in, the ones where the assembly line model has been perfected, as much as it can be, and where surgeons from dr. shetty himself
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to various other employees have developed high levels of proficiency by doing literally hundreds of surgeries in the course of just a year, the survival rates can actually be better. carol: he is now under pressure to even reduce his costs even more. this has to do with modicare, the people's health care plan in india that is being put in place. can he do it? ari: well, dr. shetty thinks he can. he is trying his best to apply the same principles that got his costs this far, ones of scale, ones of increasing surgeons' proficiency, ones of breaking down tasks to lower labor costs. increase utilization rates. he is pushing that to its limit, but at the same time, he is also looking at more high tech solutions, namely data. and get all of that data and then analyze it and find out, well, hang on, why is this
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procedure costing more than that procedure? why are complications more likely to come up in this ward than that ward? why is this doctor more likely to use a pacemaker than this other doctor? and then investigate those and see where they can improve care, make it more efficient. carol: in the business section, the world's first ever postpartum depression drug, zulresso, was just approved by the fda. jason: but even though the drug has been hailed as a breakthrough and may be able to help at least one in nine new mothers, the question remains, will it sell? carol: here is reporter cynthia koons. cynthia: this is a very exciting development from the perspective that there has not been a drug developed specifically just to treat these women. in the scientific community, experts cause a huge -- call this a huge breakthrough. this is a phenomenal drug in the sense that it works quickly. the limited helps, it helps quickly.
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helps, it helps quickly. those are the positives, and they are really extraordinary positives, but the big challenge here is the drug has to circumvent the u.s. medical system, which is not currently really set up to give it. that is because it is a 2.5 day long infusion. that is because a woman who needs this drug needs to be able to enter a hospital or certified medical facility and step aside from her newborn for two and a half days -- newborn or small child, infant -- to get the treatment. that is one of the primary obstacles in terms of the medical system being available and there being beds in the right wards and hospitals for women to be able to get this drug. carol: what is the current treatment for someone dealing with postpartum depression? cynthia: if you were presented with the symptoms right now, you would get standard antidepressant therapy, and that takes weeks to work, and for many people, it doesn't not work at all. -- they may not work at all. this process can take a while to find the exact right drug. that is currently what happens. that is a very, from the economic perspective, it is very
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-- it is not very expensive. these drugs are old, they are off patent, they are very cheap. this drug on the other hand is $34,000. so that is another hurdle in getting insurers to approve it as a first-line therapy. which it has to be, because the women who really need this need this right away, so that is the aspect the company, sage therapeutics, is playing off of. and their point is fair. these women cannot try several therapies if they are in a severe -- have a severe case of postpartum depression. but the medical system has to rise to the occasion. insurers have to be willing to pay for it right out of the bag. carol: are insurance companies, they are kind of holding off right now? cynthia: typically what happens is you drug is approved, you have been negotiating with insurers, you continue to negotiate with insurers, and we cannot see until several months into a drug's launch how well the uptick is going. we can tell as time goes on. i don't even know if insurance is going to be the big hurdle. i think the infrastructure is a
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bigger problem. so units within hospitals to treat patients with this condition have basically been disappearing. whether or not a woman goes to a labor and delivery ward being tied up for two and half days, doesn't necessarily -- isn't necessarily ideal from a hospital perspective. what they need to do is roll out the sort of new centers of places where women can get this drug. they talk about things like maybe a rehabilitation center to be outfitted to treat a patient for two or three days. they need to consult with psychiatrists, so there's just a lot of things that have to be -- fundamentally changed in order for this to be feasible. carol: up next, how brexit is frustrating potential homebuyers in amsterdam. jason: plus how wall street is masking the cost of climate change as long as there is an oceanfront view. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ ♪
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jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i am jason kelly. carol: and i am carol massar. you can listen to us on the radio on sirius xm channel 119, and on a.m. 1130 in new york, 106.1 in boston, 99.1 f.m. in washington, dc. jason: a.m. 960 in the bay area, in london on dab digital, and through the bloomberg business app. let's go to economics. amsterdam homebuyers are complaining about brexit. carol: right, they are indeed. there is an influx of jobs from london, but also wealthy newcomers who are also driving up home prices. we got more from editor cristina lindblad. cristina: they are one of the -- i guess -- "lucky" countries that is getting an influx of jobs because of companies leaving the u.k. because of brexit. but amsterdam, like many european cities, is not big, and it already has a housing deficit of about 40,000 units. so now we have some well-heeled,
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you know, new residents coming in, and it is bidding up a housing market that has been up 80% over the last four years. carol: that's what's great about the story. you actually talk about some different individuals who go looking for homes. cristina: it's a horror story. carol: it is a horror story is exactly right. cristina: some places are giving people a timeslot of 10 minutes, saying you have to show up -- if you want to look at this apartment, you have to show up at this time, and if you don't make a timeslot, you lose out. we talked to one person who want to make an offer and was told she had 90 other people ahead of her. who were going to bid. carol: my god. from what i understand, you have to raise the amount you want to spend and reduce the space you will have. cristina: she was told that she should expect to pay $20,000, sorry, 20% more than the asking price. carol: what is amsterdam doing to increase supply? you can just flip a switch and suddenly there is new housing. what are they doing to encourage either builders, developers? to control it all.
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cristina: right. the city is committed to improving about 7500 permits for new units every year. that's through 2025, but it is -- it still doesn't really catch up to this 40,000 deficit. charming plus one third of those units are reserved, sort of for low-income housing, they call it "social housing" in the netherlands. you know, so people, some of these newcomers would not even qualify. and then they are thinking of other measures to try to sort of -- what they want to do is tamp down speculation. carol: because prices have gone up dramatically. cristina: right. 80% in four years. and so what they want to do, one of the things they have suggested -- they haven't instituted this yet -- you would not be able to buy a newly built unit and turn around and rent it. you would have to have somebody move in as an owner. there also thinking about a so-called panic button -- we don't know how this would work -- so if rent was a rising fast you could cap them at a certain
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point in time. needless to say -- carol: developers and landlords are like, yeah, we love this. [laughter] cristina: and the pension funds who fund a lot of new construction in the netherlands are saying no, land prices are going up -- carol: free market. cristina: costs are going up, you are going to start shrinking our margin, which is already getting smaller. so that is something that has been brought up. carol: online at businessweek.com, more and more coastal homes are becoming vulnerable to the extreme weather events that come along with climate change. jason: but the cost of living in these mostly luxury homes have talked about insurance prices have stayed relatively stable. reporter james tarmy has the story. james: extreme climate events are increasing in their frequency and severity across the united states and across the world. and the issue is that in the united states at least, insurance premiums are staying completely stable, which does not seem correlated to the increased level of risk.
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jason: and so why? what accounts for this? james: there are a few reasons. on a federal level, it is about politics. nobody wants to be the person who says we are raising premiums along both coasts. there is zero political will. and as a consequence, you have farmers in nebraska subsidizing people with beach houses in new jersey. jason: this is a really appealing investment, the insurance side of this. james: there is very little correlation to financial markets and extreme weather events. and so very large funds, sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds and others basically news -- use the insurance industry for disaster risk as a hedge against financial markets globally. that has just resulted in, pardon the pun, a flood of capital entering into the reinsurance market which has made capital extremely cheap and also has disincentivized a lot of providers from accurately
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pricing risk, because it is not their money. jason: people do not necessarily think about these as investments. i they almost think of them as a piece of jewelry, it is a luxury item at the highest level. james: absolutely right. that said, i don't think anyone buys any luxury item except for maybe a new car that they are driving off the lot thinking it will depreciate in value by 30% or 40%. and i think that the much larger umbrella implications of this entire issue is that it could have a tremendous impact on home ownership and home values if insurance companies are gradually raising the price of their premiums to accurately reflect that risk. then all of a sudden, there will be a ceiling where the cost of ownership along the coast will become cost prohibitive. and when it becomes prohibitive, that will really ding and, often times, we have seen in smaller instances, cause real estate markets to even collapse.
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jason: before we get to the collapse, we should also talk about this idea that it is a different story when you think about places like louisiana and other less affluent places, i guess, in general. james: that is an excellent point, and this is where it becomes a federal issue. if an investment banker loses his beach house, that's not good for anyone, but that is not devastating for him. if someone who is in a lower income household loses their place of residence, they can't go somewhere else. they don't have the money to go somewhere else, and often times they don't even have job prospects to go somewhere else. and so you are really looking at the potential for, once insurance risk becomes a little bit more accurate, you are looking at the potential for federally funded mass migration, really, where, you know, someone has to pick up the pieces, and it is not going to be the private sector. carol: up next, why artists and musicians are turning against a certain pipeline billionaire. jason: also ahead, six ways to
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avoid being swallowed up by the internet while on the job. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ jason: welcome back to
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"bloomberg businessweek." i'm jason kelly. carol: i'm carol massar. still ahead in this week's issue, how willing are you to take risks? jason: and the challenge of predicting the next downturn. carol: not easy. we start in the features section. this pipeline billionaire may be missing the days of anonymous profit-making. jason: he is the ceo of a company called energy transfer, best known for its controversial dakota access pipeline. carol: recently, he has been on
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the defensive, taken to court by unhappy investors. >> kelsey warren, ceo and chairman of energy transfer. basically, energy transfer is part of this whole corporate empire. there is energy transfer partners, equity, a subsidiary. they combined a bunch of stuff and now they are just energy transfer as of october. basically, a lot of generically named companies, pipelines -- people don't see pipelines, they are underground. carol: what do they do exactly? he was happy that nobody necessarily -- right? devin: well, carol, yes, you can make a lot of money, and basically he became one of the world's richest men. at the height of the oil boom two or three years ago, he was worth more than $7 billion. carol: he built a lot of pipelines, right?
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devin: the thing is that a lot of the business was in texas, oklahoma, places like that. hey, come on -- that's our industry, part of our local fabric. but then as the shale revolution took off and they were finding gas and oil in places like pennsylvania, ohio, and north dakota, he started building up there. of course, it makes sense, there are not enough pipelines. ton of oil, i got to get it out of there. carol: northeasterners are cranky. [laughter] devin: i guess you could say he ran into some cranky people in north dakota, and all of a sudden, the business was not so much fun. carol: why are you writing about this guy now? this company now? devin: one of his arguments has been that we are doing nothing wrong, our problems are being caused by environmentalists who don't like us because they want to keep oil and gas in the ground, you know, for
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climate-change reasons. you know, they're just making up all the stuff, spreading misinformation. literally, energy transfer filed a federal racketeering suit against greenpeace and a bunch of environmentalists, saying just that. the problem is that as they move in other states, the people who are pushing back are not environmentalists. carol: landowners, homeowners, right? devin, yeah, and environmental officials in states like ohio, which is controlled by republicans, and in pennsylvania, where they have been very supportive. you know, the whole shale boom. and as you say, homeowners, and also right now, they're facing multiple criminal investigations from republican da's.
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him so to say this is all being cooked up by a bunch of greenies, that's just not true. jason: and now to the economics section. carol: editor peter coy looking at why professional economists have such a dismal record forecasting recession. peter: it is not easy, that is the first thing to say. it is easy to laugh at economists for missing recessions or forecasting ones that never occur, but if you think about weather forecasts, which have improved so much, much better data. you have a big advantage when you are forecasting the weather, which is that the molecules of air do not watch television to see what the meteorologist is saying about them, whereas investors and consumers do. carol: a lot of content being pushed out. peter: you get this feedback between what people think is going to happen, what others
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think will happen, it is vastly complicates the job. it is not just like little atoms. carol: there is an interesting stat. federal consulting group, tell us what they found. peter: this consulting firm found this, and out of 468 in found this, and out of 468 recessions since 1988, they look at how the international monetary fund did in predicting them. the spring in the year before the recession hit, they found only four were predicted. carol: calling for the recession? peter: yeah. when you get to the spring of the year and the recession actually hits, they got 111, so still less than one quarter of them. not a great track record. carol: and it is not just imf. those imf forecasts will often come out and it's like yeah, ok. peter: the imf is a fine
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forecasting organization, just like anyone else. they looked at private forecasters and they found the private forecasters did not do any better. carol: let's not forget the great recession. how many people missed it? peter: that's a black mark, right? there were people who saw a recession coming, but i would venture to say that even amongst those who saw it coming, if you had any idea how bad it would be, it was the worst since the great depression of 1930's. that was just really not in the cards for most forecasters. carol: you talk about info about the economy. there is a lag to it. peter: you can't tell what's happening, and when data comes in, it comes in with a lag. and then you have a phenomenon that a recession can be caused by something happening in the financial markets. if there is a panic and stocks suddenly fall, that can affect
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the real economy and reducing confidence or making them feel less wealthy. i think we would all agree that panics are hard to forecast. if the panic is causing recession, the recession is hard to forecast. jason: forecasting recessions is the favorite parlor game of economists. our favorite, taylor riggs, is here with her own look on forecasting. taylor: is a difficult job, and if you come over here, i made a pie chart. we haven't done one of these in a while. the key number is 194 countries that sovereign recessions, only 108 were not predicted in the imf world economic outlook. that is a really big number. people are saying that economists, unlike portfolio managers, don't have the money where their mouth is, so it is easier to go along with groupthink and there is not a lot of backlash if you get it wrong. carol: up next, japan's economy found a way to age gracefully. jason: and a renaissance of cultures out of japan's former capital of kyoto.
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carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ a
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jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm jason kelly. carol: i am carol massar. join us for bloomberg businessweek every day on the radio from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. wall street time. you can also catch up on our podcast. find it on itunes and of course, bloomberg.com. jason: and find us at businessweek.com and our mobile app. carol: japan is at a crossroads as the country gets ready for a royal succession. jason: while no longer a rising superpower, it is pioneering the way a wealthy nation ages. carol: i love this story. here is our executive editor. >> japan is this rare island of stability right now. they have some income
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inequality, but nothing on the scale of the u.s. they don't have these deep class resentments we have seen in recent years in the u.s. and this cultural divide between coastal america and the internal parts of the country. they don't have a brexit drama that goes to the very heart of what kind of country they are going to be. they don't have the yellow vest worker protests we're seeing in france. it is a pretty stable place. i think a big part of that, there are maybe two broad reasons. one is that a middle-class japanese family can do ok, even with all of the challenges that the country has -- carol: health care, education, they have access to this. brian: the other thing is that on a relative basis, japan has not opened up. it is a largely homogenous society. that is changing, and that is one of the things we get into, how they have been quietly
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overhauling their visa program, and that the foreign worker population has gone up dramatically the last five years. carol: especially with the aging population. they have also embraced robotics and artificial intelligence. here and elsewhere around the globe, people are fearful that robots taking over the world. brian: japan is a highly robots-integrated economy. it started back in the 1970's with industrial robots and the automation of manufacturing. but it has gone way beyond that. you are starting to see service robots in health-care settings. you you can go into a high-end department store in tokyo and be met, greeted by a robot. if you go to narita, you will look at the baggage handlers and see exoskeleton contraptions
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that are allowing older workers to lift heavy loads and things like that. him their embrace of automation and robotics is different than what we're seeing elsewhere in the industrialized world. carol: is there a lesson to be learned? they have dealt with problems the rest of the world is now facing. brian: i think their embrace of automation, ai, robotics, is going to be a very interesting thing to watch. can japan figure out a way to keep productivity levels from collapsing, to keep their economy growing in the face of such a demographic collapse? if you really look at the numbers last year, nearly 500,000 people -- the population decreased by that magnitude. it is extraordinary. and there are projections that a
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society of 127 million people could be roughly 100 million by the middle of the century. if japan can crack the code on that through a mixture of high-speed automation, more enlightened immigration, that is going to be something the rest of the world is going to watch. jason: speaking of japan, let's get to pursuits. the section has a guide to kyoto. carol: the city is a hotbed of innovation when it comes to restaurants and art and hotels. we got the details. >> everybody right now is thinking about cherry blossoms a in japan, and kyoto is the place you go to see that, it can be quite a mob scene. we wanted to focus on when the cherry blossoms pass, what do you do in kyoto? for a lot of reasons, because there is a few new hotels opening up, a great creative community, a lot of universities, and because it has a great history, there's actually ton going on.
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a it may be the most exciting city in japan. carol: everybody is focusing on the upcoming olympics in tokyo, but where should i go, what should i do? chris: you should stay in a fancy hotel. the park hyatt, very famous in tokyo, for "lost in translation," is opening there. there is an ace hotel there. carol: $2000 a night in aman, right? chris: yeah. and there these crazy restaurants -- like a meal and a set order of dishes, very traditional. but there are these great restaurants that are experimenting with it. there is this one restaurant, which is hard to say, where it takes the whole meal and puts it on one bento platter. you're getting the whole thing on one plate. we got a great picture of it in
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the magazine. carol: it is gorgeous. chris: there is one called monk where it messes with tradition and puts like pizza in it. there is food. and then you should definitely check out some of the cultural stuff. there is a photo festival called kyotography. carol: say that five times fast. chris: there are distilleries, all sorts of exciting stuff. carol: talk about the distillery. i guess i didn't think about that, but yeah, there is beer. chris: it is spirits. whiskey, japanese whiskey is a huge thing, and there is sake. and then there is this premium gin. gin is kind of becoming a hot drink there, it is in a lot of new cocktail bars. carol: talk to us -- it's easy to get in and out. it's funny, because we take the cities for granted, but they do get a reboot, right? chris: yeah, and i think because kyoto has such an amazing history and is so picturesque with the temples and historic districts, people really don't think about what is fresh.
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and that is in addition to the amazing history, really the reason to go right now. carol: up next, how to win over directors and shareholders from your first day at the office. jason: and the queen of food journalism is out with a new memoir and we give it a taste test. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i am carol massar. jason: i am jason kelly. you can listen to us on the radio on sirius xm channel 119, also a.m. 1130 in new york, 106.1 in boston, 99.1 f.m. in washington, d.c. carol: a.m. 960 in the bay area, in london on dab digital, and of course, on the bloomberg business app.
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in the strategies section, helpful articles about how to take risks that grow your company. jason: and why it is important to prove yourself from your first day on the job. >> companies are complex these days. they are different, running them is different, how you hire people, groom people, they have a very short timeline to prove themselves. social media puts pressure, all kinds of media attention puts pressure. and then how we consume technology, like think about the tools people use. they can make your life efficient but they can make your life kind of crazy, right? we were taking a deeper dive into it indication in the section and trying to offer people really meaningful advice and information about how to go forward in their leadership roles, whether you are a ceo, senior-level manager, that is what we're trying to do. carol: toolbook, that's great.
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i thought there was a fascinating stat. more than 1400 ceos, 25 percent more left than in 2017, highest since the financial crisis. dimitra: there is a lot of rotation, that door is revolving. in that is the story that looks like you have a short timeline to prove yourself. what do you do? how do you go in there, establish priorities, establish your mode of communication, be open, manage expectations so people understand your goals, attach a timeline to it. in shareholders really get the idea of three-month increments. that is one piece of advice. carol: don't overcommit. dimitra: don't overcommit. be aspirational but be realistic, because the pressure is on. you have so many different
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populations of people looking to you to prove yourself. carol: there is another story talking that something between lunatic risk-taking and paralyzing risk aversion exists a sweet spot of prudent risk-taking. dimitra: people think that the thing is being too much of a risk taker, but risk aversion can be a problem as well. we headlined it "don't play it too safe." what you need in this world, this complicated world of leading a company, is the ability to really balance things and measure. how much to push the envelope, how much you have to pull back. a so many things factor into that. your personality, which ceos tend to have personality types where they are very certain of themselves, very sure, but not across the board is everybody quite that assertive. so how do you both assert yourselves but measure it in a way that you are balanced?
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it is a tricky line to toe. we do tend to think that ceos will do what they will do, but that is not always the case. carol: and admire it, but it is not always a good thing. dimitra: that was a fun one. there is a lot of research from many different realms in science and health working on that. our writer really dug deep into the various studies to put together a very interesting and useful look at, basically, how to be a better risk taker. carol: speaking of leaders, in "pursuits," a review of a new memoir from a leader in the food business. talking about famous magazine editor ruth reichl. >> she really ruled the roost, queen of food for such a long time. she was the restaurant critic at she was the restaurant critic at "the new york times," and people worship her, she wore disguises, she blew things up.
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carol: did she really? there are probably generations of folks out there who do not know who she is or how she changed looking at food. give us that history. kate: ruth really was -- it was so fun to read her book. she really was julia child mixed with a little bit of chrissy teigen. carol: score. kate: she knew how to make food is accessible and how to communicate in a real-life way. she came to "gourmet" in the late 90's when it really was a magazine that you had to have two houses and horses, at least two houses. was very dull, very conservative. the recipes would have like six parts, you would make a cake and feed it to your horses. carol: who is going to do that? kate: and even then, there was sort of an audience for it. she saw an opening to make it a a dynamic, of-the-moment magazine, and she did.
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carol: tells about this book. kate: it is called "save me the plums," a memoir about the going into the best food job in the country and that watching it going down the drain because of the financial crisis and things out of her control. carol: you read the book, tell me about it. kate: i love it, it was like walking around with my best friend. but it was an amazing insight into what is happening in journalism from especially at conde nast. that was a time when conde nast ruled the world. you think back of the september issue, bigger than the bible. "vogue" magazine was bigger than the bible. all of the brands, all of the magazine's work phenomenal. carol: "vanity fair." kate: exactly, "vogue" magazine, all the fashion, but "gourmet" was primarily the food magazine. it was a time when everyone took a black car to lunch.
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even if they were going to the same place. a separate black car, so there would be a traffic jam -- carol: conspicuous consumption. anything you didn't like about the book? kate: personally, i wish there was more about the magazine. ruth talked about the struggle of being a working mom, going on book tour, a demanding job. really timely and good, but i wanted even more about what is going on in the magazine. she changed the "gourmet" font, and that was a huge deal. in the publishing world, that was a huge deal. a little bit more of that, wanted it to be longer. she is always right. [laughter] carol: ruth is always right. kate: and sometimes you're like, really? but it is like having an insider view into, if you were in the food world, the equivalent of the financial crisis.
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carol: "bloomberg businessweek" is available on newsstands now. jason: and also on businessweek.com. what is your must-read? carol: the hospital chain in india, dramatically reduced costs. this doctor rethinking an assembly line way of doing surgeries and that is why he has been able to bring costs down. everybody around the globe will be watching what he is doing. jason: and big challenges ahead with modicare, but you look at the numbers and think, why couldn't that happen everywhere? carol: yours? jason: i love the international cover story about meitaun because it reminds us that china especially, they are so much further ahead than the rest of the world and how they are using technology in their everyday lives. carol: you can find more stories on businessweek.com over the weekend. jason: and check out our daily podcast, download, subscribe, available on itunes, soundcloud, and bloomberg.com. carol: more bloomberg television starts now. ♪
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